BUFFALO, N.Y.; May 29, 2019—In 1969, just two years after One M&T Plaza opened, the first Plaza Event Series performance was held, a historic moment that fulfilled famed architect Minoru Yamasaki’s plans for an open plaza surrounding the building becoming a gathering place for people who worked and lived in the city’s central business district.
This year, M&T Bank celebrates the 50th season of the Plaza Event Series, which is believed to be the longest running free concert series of its kind in the United States. The 11-week series starts June 10 at noon.
“Our plaza is a symbolic manifestation of the bank’s role in the community—joining, strengthening and enriching the central business district for visitors and residents alike,” said Rich Gold, M&T Bank President and COO. “However, strengthening a city doesn’t happen through building projects alone; it also takes experiences and events that bring the community together and cultivate connections. The Plaza Event Series has done exactly that throughout its 50 years, becoming part of the fabric of the downtown community.”
To build on the Plaza Event Series’ legacy, M&T Bank will be launching a used musical instrument drive to benefit local students. Instruments collected will go to Buffalo Public Schools for use by students who don’t have access to their own musical instrument.
“The Plaza Event Series is an inspiring experience. It brings our community together to celebrate local music and the arts—and with the community’s support, we have the opportunity to convert the inspiration into action,” said Shelley Drake, M&T Bank Regional President for Western New York. “This drive will give new life to instruments stowed away in attics and garages by putting them into the hands of local students who want to learn a new instrument or take their talents to the next level. And who knows – maybe the Plaza Event Series headliner, 10 or 20 years from now, will be a local student who received an instrument through our musical instrument drive.”
Those interested in donating an instrument can stop by the Plaza Event Series during the first week of performances or visit M&T’s branch on the ground floor of One M&T Plaza during regular business hours throughout the duration of the series, which runs June 10 through August 23.
M&T has also debuted a Spotify playlist that includes songs of the summer from the last 50 years, as selected by the M&T employees who organized this year’s series. It expands the community-building impact of the Plaza Event Series into the digital space, allowing Spotify users to connect with the series wherever they are.
To listen to the Spotify playlist, visit https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5gfHexU2lAyLyROqext8bI.
On social media, M&T is asking concert goers to share their stories with the hashtag #PlazaEventSeries. Memories and photos of past series as well as selfies and pictures of this year’s concerts are all welcome and encouraged. Organizers are hoping to crowdsource audience experiences to preserve a well-rounded history of the series.
For the kickoff event June 10, a special celebration is planned. Bank executives, employees and customers will join community members and local elected officials for a brief ceremony followed by the day’s performance, which will feature songs from throughout the last five decades.
The lunchtime concerts start at noon every workday from June 10 through August 23. The lone exception is the always-anticipated Plaza Event Series performance of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, which begins at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, July 23.
Local food trucks will be onsite each week day, including Great Aussie Bite (Mondays), The Blend (Tuesdays), Cheesy Chick (Wednesdays), Caribbean Flava (Thursdays) and Dickey’s Barbeque Pit (Fridays).
A full listing of 2019 performances is below:
WKBW-TV Channel 7 Week
Monday, June 10 – Joyryde & The Hitmen Horns
Tuesday, June 11 – Ramblin’ Lou Family Band from WXRL Radio
Wednesday, June 12 – Westminster Community Charter School
Thursday, June 13 – The Frankfurters
Friday, June 14 – Big Wheelie & The Hubcaps
The Buffalo News Week
Monday, June 17 – Old School B-Boys
Tuesday, June 18 – Beatlemagic
Wednesday, June 19 – The Doug Yeomans Band
Thursday, June 20 – Only Humen
Friday, June 21 – West of the Mark
Buffalo Bisons Week
Monday, June 24 – The Bobby Militello Quartet
Tuesday, June 25 – Mark Mazur and “The Little Big Band”
Wednesday, June 26 – SuperCharger
Thursday, June 27 – Flipside
Friday, June 28 – XOXO
92.9 JACK FM Week
Monday, July 1 – Lithium
Tuesday, July 2 – The Scott Celani Band
Wednesday, July 3 –Mike Randall & Friends / Zoomobile
Thursday, July 4 – Bank holiday to observe Independence Day, no performance
Friday, July 5 – Quintessential Phunk
Business First Week
Monday, July 8 – Will Holton
Tuesday, July 9 – Allykat
Wednesday, July 10 – The Chicago Authority
Thursday, July 11 – Breakaway
Friday, July 12 – Carnival Kids Steel Orchestra
Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Week
Monday, July 15 – Boys of Summer
Tuesday, July 16 – Dave Constantino Band
Wednesday, July 17 – Tom Stahl and The Dangerfields
Thursday, July 18 – Bar-room Buzzards
Friday, July 19 – Unity Band
WNED l WBFO Buffalo Toronto Week
Monday, July 22 – Disco Duck
Tuesday, July 23 – Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (Note: Show begins at 11:45a.m.)
Wednesday, July 24 – Broken Strings
Thursday, July 25 – Caribbean Extravaganza
Friday, July 26 – Angel Vox
Spectrum News Week
Monday, July 29 – JJ Swing
Tuesday, July 30 – Queen City Swing
Wednesday, July 31 – The Kensingtons
Thursday, August 1 – “In Jest” Comedy Variety Show with Nels Ross
Friday, August 2 – Denzel Ward & The Cool Platinum Band
Power 93.7 WBLK Week
Monday, August 5 – Back to the Bars
Tuesday, August 6 – Jim Tudini Big Band
Wednesday, August 7 – The Lake Effect
Thursday, August 8 – Creek Bend
Friday, August 9 – African American Cultural Center’s Dance & Drum Performance Company
Country 106.5 WYRK Week
Monday, August 12 – The Soul Providers
Tuesday, August 13 – Pointless Brothers
Wednesday, August 14 – Colleen Williams & The Bobby Jones Trio
Thursday, August 15 – McCarthyizm
Friday, August 16 – Terry Buchwald’s Tribute to Elvis
The Breeze 96.1 Week
Monday, August 19 – David Kane’s Them Jazzbeards
Tuesday, August 20 – Joseph Michael Mahfoud Band
Wednesday, August 21 – The Tommy Z Band
Thursday, August 22 – Taylor Made Jazz
Friday, August 23 – Total Eclipse & The Buffalo Horns
M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB)(“M&T”) is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T’s Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank.
© 2019 M&T Bank. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.